KIRK FERENTZ'S OPENING REMARKS
Injury wise, we had a couple more on Saturday. With Albert Young, the good news is that like Marcus Schnoor, there are not complications in the MRI. The bad news is that it is an ACL tear, but it will be repairable. Unfortunately that is what we are looking at there. He is finished for the season. What makes this more difficult is that this is the second year in a row where his season has ended or been cut short due to injury. That gives us three guys on our team that have had two major injuries in their career (Jonathon Babineaux and Brian Ferentz being the other two). You hate to see anyone get injured once, but no one said that football is fair.
The other injury is Todd Plagman. Todd sprained his ankle and the xray was negative. We are looking at losing him for a couple of weeks, maybe three, I don't know. It might be one of those things where he is not ready to play until the bye.
All of that being said, it was a good win and great to keep the trophy. We did a lot of good things and there are some things we have to get to work on. We knew that we had offensive work to do, and the lowlight of the game, and the films verified that, was that we have a lot of things on special teams that are just really lacking. For us to have a chance to have a good ball club this year, we have to get that straightened out this week. If we don't, we will be in trouble. Probably the only comments I can give you outside of our team, is that I am still a little befuddled by the rankings. I think people are just throwing darts, as I am trying to figure out where we are at. I think there were four teams that got beat this weekend that were ranked, and until we get into October, we will not know who is who and what is what. We are certainly a team that has a lot of work to do, so we are not worried about the rankings, I can promise you that. That being said, we have a great challenge ahead of us this week. This is our first road game, so you have an adjustment with the different set of circumstances. And we are playing a very good team, a very motivated team in what will be a tough environment, so you have to take a look at everything.
FERENTZ ON ARIZONA STATE
Arizona State finished strong two seasons ago, and they thought they were in a position to make a run at the PAC-10 last year. It didn't quite work out that way an they have made some changes. Now they look much crisper and they look like they are ready to go.
Last year I think they were a little sluggish with the start to their season, but this year they have gotten right to business. They handled UTEP very easily and then went to Chicago and beat what I think is a very good Northwestern team. Northwestern has as many starters back as anyone in our league right now. They have a quarterback who is playing extremely well, and they are improved from a year ago. They will make some noise in our conference before all is said and done.
For Arizona State winning that game the way they did speaks very highly of them. They have excellent talent, especially at quarterback. If you talk with people in the NFL, Andrew Walter is one of the top two prospects coming out next year. We play him this week, and unfortunately we play the other one in a few weeks in Kyle Orton.
Walter can make every throw in the book; he is an excellent passer. That is where it all starts for them. When you have a quarterback like that, everything else comes into play. They have some receivers that can run down there and get the ball and they are pretty big up front.
They went from being a fullback offense last year with #44 and now they have replaced him with a two tight end scheme. You will see two tight ends, three receivers or four receivers and one tight end.
The other major change is that they are running the football a little better. They are very athletic and aggressive on defense, and they have some new faces and they changed their system.
The offensive changes, to me, are not that dramatic. But defensively, those are pretty dramatic. It seems they have settled into a four-man line with three linebackers, where last year they had two backers and five DB's, and things are going well for them. They have a veteran front, and that does not match up well for us. It looks like they have about six guys up front that they have great faith in. Their linebackers are impressive. The guys that jumps out is #44 Robinson, a newcomer who has really given them a bolt. I have heard some of our coaches upstairs talk about him in comparison to Bob Sanders. He is quite a linebacker. It is going to be a great challenge for our football team.
Special teams wise, we have to make improvements. They have a great returner in Burgess, this guy is not going to fair catch things. He will take it and go with it. So we have some challenges ahead. It will be a busy week.